Archive for the ‘School Sport’ Category

Titans’ Bird, Harrison, Loa Have Charges Dropped

Worst diver in the game, Greg Bird. Image: http://www.news.com.au/sport/nrl/state-of-origin-2015-trevor-gillmeister-fears-fakers-might-decide-match/story-fndv2twz-1227369174577

Gold Coast Titans Players Greg Bird, Beau Falloon, Ashley Harrison, and Kalifa Faifai Loa have had their charges for cocaine possession dismissed in a Southport Magistrates court this week.

The charges were dropped due to lack of evidence.

Magistrate Callaghan said the prosecution had presented no evidence to substantiate intercepted phone conversations between the players and Joseph Touma pertained to cocaine. The prosecution had said the defendants had used a code-word when referring to the substance. McCallum argued that the word used could refer to anything.

But trio Dave Taylor, Joe Vickery, and Jamie Dowling are yet to stand trial for drug charges. Their defence lawyer, Chris McCallum conceded there was a prima facie case against them.

The scandal emerged in March this year, engulfing former and present NRL players.

Bird has a long and tarnished record both on and off the field. But now says he would be ‘honoured’ to captain the Gold Coast Titans (again).

Bird was the co-captain with Manly-bound Nate Myles in 2013-14; but was stripped of his position when he was caught urinating in public, in December of last year.

The dropped charges come as a huge relief to the struggling Gold Coast club. They narrowly avoided the wooden spoon this year and are desperate to organise a successful strategy for the 2016 season.

Whether Bird will play any part in that strategy remains to be seen.

Coca-Cola and McDonalds Call for Blatter to Step Down

Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1uW3lwNZas

Coco-Cola has issued a statement calling upon Sepp Blatter to stand down as the FIFA president.

The shock statement was soon echoed by fast food giant McDonalds.

Sepp Blatter has been under criminal investigation by Swiss authorities for a week now. Coca-Cola and McDonalds are concerned their brands may be tarnished by association.

Coca-Cola released the statement “calling for FIFA President Joseph Blatter to step down immediately so that a credible and sustainable reform process can begin in earnest.

“Every day that passes the image and reputation of FIFA continues to tarnish. FIFA needs comprehensive and urgent reform, and that can only be accomplished through a truly independent approach.”

McDonalds chimed in shortly after releasing its own mdeaia statement:
The events of recent weeks have continued to diminish the reputation of FIFA and public confidence in its leadership.

“We (McDonalds) believe it would be in the best interest of the game for FIFA president sepp Blatter to step down immediately so that the reform process can proceed with the credibility that is needed.”

Talking lawyers is one thing Sepp Blatter has been able to control for some time now. But when huge amounts of sponsorship dollars are calling for your head it’s an entirely different game.

But the FIFA president gave his typical response through his lawyers:

“While Coca-Cola is a valued sponsor of FIFA, Mr Blatter respectfully disagrees with tis position and believes firmly that his leaving office now would not be in the best interest of FIFA, nor would it advance the process of reform and therefore, he will not resign,” said Blatter’s New York attorney Richard Cullen in a statement.

Criminal Proceedings Against Sepp Blatter

Image: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N1uW3lwNZas

Swiss investigators have begun criminal proceedings against Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini by searching the former FIFA president’s office while quizzing his UEFA counterpart, Platini.

At the heart of their search is an answer to the legality of a two million dollar payment from Blatter to the French football legend.

“Swiss criminal proceedings against the President of FIFA, Mr. Joseph Blatter, have been opened on September 24, 2015 on suspicion of criminal mismanagement … and – alternatively – misappropriation,” said a statement from the OGA, Switzerland’s Lawyer General’s Office.

Blatter (now 79) is in the process of handing over the reins of the world football governing body amid accusations of corruption.

The Swiss prosecutor said data had been seized and the FIFA President questioned. He is considered a ‘suspect’; while Platini is considered ‘a person called upon to give information’.

Platini, now 60, is the automatic FIFA vice-president as he has been head of UEFA since January 2007.

Blatter was said, by his lawyer Richard Cullen, to be cooperating with the Swiss authorities and that he was confident a review of the evidence would yield ‘no mismanagement occurred.’

The alleged $2.0 million franc ($2.9 million) is thought to have been made in February of 2011 ‘for work performed between January 1999 and June 2002’.

Michael Platini Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Platini

Michael Platini Image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michel_Platini

On Friday Platini said the money had been for ‘contractual’ work.

“Concerning the payment that was made to me, I wish to state that this amount relates to work which I carried out under a contract with FIFA,

“I was pleased to have been able to clarify all matters relating to this with the authorities. I also made clear to the Swiss authorities that since I live in Switzerland I am available to speak with them any time to clarify any matters relating to the investigations.”

Blatter is under investigation by US authorities for links with former FIFA vice-resident Jack warner.

It is being alleged that Warner used the Caribbean Football Union as a power base to which Blatter was suspected of contributing.

But Blatter’s lawyer, Cullen, said the contract was ‘properly prepared and negotiated’ by all FIFA staff required for such matters..

Warner is just one of 14 soccer officials and business executives expected to face US prosecutors. It will be alleged they were involved in more than US$150 million in bribes for broadcasting rights and marketing deals.

NRL Furious at Captains’ Snub

NRL Captains Calll imgaes: https://twitter.com/nrl

NRL officials were fuming when three first-grade captains snubbed the annual finals captains’ call.

Melbourne storm captain Cameron Smith missed the engagement for the second year in a row claiming he has a virus. Instead the club sent Ryan Hinchcliffe, who confirmed the news.

“He’s got a little bit of a virus. He didn’t come to training yesterday and today. He is still crook.” But Hinchcliffe assured Storm fans that the captain will be okay when the finals series kicks off.

Other no-shows were Cowboys captain Jonathon Thurston who sited a slight groin injury for his absence.

The club’s co-captain Matt Scott also begged-off with a neck injury.

Veteran backrower Gavin Cooper was sent to replace them both. He said the long flight for the short event was too much of a disruption to both men’s rehab’ and medicos preferred their star playmakers to rest and heal.

Cooper assured Cowboy fans Thurston and Scott should be right to play in time for the finals.

An NRL spokesman said it was ‘disappointing’ that not all captains were able to attend.

NRL Captains Calll imgaes: https://twitter.com/nrl

NRL Captains Calll imgaes: https://twitter.com/nrl

“But we understand that players cannot travel due to illness and injury.

“The clubs involved sent replacement players to ensure they were properly represented at the event.”

Whether the absences are legitimate or calculated snubs the NRL is fast losing credibility among its players, power-brokers, and fans – and this years’ captains call only reinforces that.

Female MMA Fighter Beats Up Would-Be Robber

Triangle hold image: Youtube

Monique Bastos was on her way home from jiu-jitsu training with two friends on Tuesday when two men attacked their group. They demanded their mobile phones and money.

What they didn’t expect was for Bastos to fight back.

While Bastos may only weigh in at 56 kg, she does, however, have six fights to her MMA career – and she’s a killer!

“I was going to my jiu-jitsu training when they arrived on a motorcycle and said they wanted our phones,” Bastos said to MMAFighting.com. “I tried to hold my phone, and I realised they were not armed. When they tried to escape (after feeling the wrath of Bastos’ fists for a few minutes), I lifted the rear wheel of the bike and they fell on the ground. The guy who took my phone ran away, but I was able to get the other one.”

And Bastos showed him why crime doesn’t pay.

The man, later identified as Wesley Sousa de Araujo, was eventually ‘subdued’ with a rear naked choke. Bastos then held him in a triangle choke for 15 minutes until police arrived to arrest him.

At several points Araujo is screaming for sympathy, but he showed none when he was robbing his victims; fortunately he was shown none in return.

“I’ve been thought this a few times before,” Bastos continued, “and it’s the second time I fought back. There were two guys, and they were using knives, but I was able to use my jiu-jitsu and get my phone back. It’s a huge risk, but I did it to defend myself and my friends, so I used what I learned.”

Baseball Fan Dies in Freak Accident

Turner field Image: en.wikipedia.org

Major League Baseball, in the US, is in damage control after a fan has fallen to his death at the Turner Field Stadium in Atlanta.

Alex Rodriguez was walking out, in the seventh innings, to take the plate for the Yankees. An as yet unnamed Atlanta Braves fan was yelling at him from a second tier seat. The fan lost his balance, plunging onto the main screen below.

Witnesses say the man was holding onto wires to lean out as far as he could. He fell head first.

Play continued as the incident took place 30 rows back and went unseen by nearly all of the on-field players and officials.

Paramedics rushed to administer first aid. They continued giving him CPR as he was taken to an ambulance which then sped him to hospital. Despite their best efforts he later died.

Fans cordoned off the area and moved young children away from the grisly scene.

Family members were taken to a nearby Braves clubhouse and given counselling.

“None of our family guys got hurt,” said Fredi Gonzaliz, manager of the Atlanta Braves, “other than there were some young children there that got to see stuff that’s not real nice.”

The force of the man’s fall caused the wires and mesh netting to reverberate like a tremor for several seconds.

Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorius did see the incident. He was standing on second base following a double when it happened.

“I was thinking about it the whole time,” said Gregorius. “All I can say is my condolences to the family. It was right in front of the camera in the press box. He hit the wires.”

Major League Baseball has said it is reviewing the issue of fan safety. There have been several incidents this season of people being hurt by foul balls and flying bats. This has been the first fan fatality.

Mason on Report After First Tackle

Mason image: https://twitter.com/mase21?lang=en

He has never been known as the sharpest knife in the draw. This week Manly forward Willie Mason showed just how stupid he is.

In his first game back following a two-week suspension for a shoulder charge Mason sunk his shoulder into the Rooster’s prop Dylan Napa in the very first hit-up of the game.

Napa is no shrinking violet. The 109 kg steamroller was met by three Manly defenders, one of whom was Mason.

Mason didn’t even bother to disguise his shoulder charge.

So with only seven seconds of the game gone the Roosters had their first penalty and Mason was once again on report.

Mason has been an outspoken critic of the new shoulder charge rule.

“I’m embarrassed to be a rugby league player at the moment,” he said after the first two week suspension, “with all the rule changes and everything like that.

“It’s a sad day for rugby league really if you have a look at it.

“I’ve seen bigger hits on the weekend in netball.”

And who can argue?

Rugby league is meant to be a hard-man’s game; getting rid of the shoulder charge from league is like outlawing the body check in ice hockey or the blindside hit in NFL.

I suppose we should be thankful the NRL management don’t run Formula One – everyone would have to drive at the speed limit.

Shoulder charge rule: “Is where a defender, without attempting to tackle, grab or hold the ball-carrier (or any opposing player) using the arms or hands, makes direct physical contact using the shoulder or the upper arm (tucked into the side).

“It will be considered misconduct, if any player affects a tackle in the manner as defined.”

Card Stacks for UFC 193 in Melbourne

Image: https://twitter.com/UFCEurope/status/628204426021330944

Melbourne fight fans are licking their lips as Stefan ‘Skyscaper’ Struve has been signed to fight American Jared Rosholt at UFC 193 at Etihad Stadium in November.

Dutchman Struve is a giant of a man, towering over opponents at 2.12 meters.

He was powering up the heavyweight rankings with a four-fight win streak; overpowering luminaries like Stipe Miocic, Lavar Johnson, Dave Herman, and Pat Barry before being forced out of competition with a heart condition.

Since then Struve lost two bouts; the first to Mark ‘the Super Samoan’ Hunt, the second to Alistair Overeem. He has since regrouped with a unanimous decision victory over the highly respected veteran warrior Anotonio Rodrigo Nogueira in August.

Rosholt, in contrast, is unranked in the UFC heavyweight division. He is rising fast, but still something of an unknown.

He was knocked out in the first round by Alexey Oliynyk in November.

But Rosholt has since defeated Josh Copeland and Timothy Johnson on his way to securing a 5-1 UFC record and a 9-1 MMA record.

The night will be headlined by the welterweight championship bout between Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit.

Adopted Aussie Mark Hunt will meet fellow slugger, the hammer-fisted Bigfoot Silva.

Australian prodigy Robert Whittaker will get his first taste of the big time, being given the opportunity to fight the veteran but ever dangerous Michael Bisping.

Whittaker versus Bisping is expected to be a show-stopper!

Club Revolt in NRL Gives Ultimatum to CEO Smith

Image: www.youtube.com

NRL CEO Dave Smith has been given an ultimatum: Either you go or we do.

The threat comes from some of the most powerful figures in rugby league –  frustrated with the changes and inconsistencies implemented by Smith in his year at the helm.

Last week’s TV rights negotiations saw Fox Sports and Telstra effectively snubbed from the deal. This caused much heated discussion and finger pointing among club presidents towards Smith and Australian Rugby League Commission Chairman John Grant.

In response, 12 clubs are considering breaking away from the NRL in 2017 when their contracts expire.

The new 12 club league would leave out those clubs currently being supported by the NRL: Wests tigers, St George Illawarra, Newcastle, and the perennially embattled Gold Coast.

The influential figures were incensed when Fox Sports and Telstra were omitted from the TV right negotiations.

This fury was only multiplied when News Corp then partnered with the Seven Network to inject $2.5 billion into AFL through a revised television deal – money that could have gone to them.

These blunders are, however, just the latest in a long list of complaints against Smith: Inconsistent judiciary rulings, the insipid and unclear changes made to the shoulder charge rule, and the multi-million dollar blowout of executive salaries for certain staff employed by Smith have incurred ire at every turn.

The game’s powerbrokers, it seems, have finally had enough.

Former Ravens Cheerleader Sentenced After Raping Teenager

Image: https://twitter.com/hashtag/mollyshattuck

Former Baltimore Ravens cheerleader Molly Shattuck has been sentenced to two years of probation after pleading guilty to raping a 15 year-old boy while at a vacation rental home in Delaware.

Shattuck, now 48 years-old, fell to her knees sobbing at the sentence. She was given a wholly suspended prison sentence of 15 years, ordered to report every second weekend to a probation centre in Delaware, was registered as a sex offender, and must continue therapy.

The parents of the then teenaged boy had urged the judge to send Shattuck to prison as a warning to other potential paedophiles.

“At the end of the day, there’s nothing we can do to take this pain away from him,” his father told The Associated Press.

Shattuck pled guilty to one count of fourth-degree rape. The plea came only days before her scheduled trial on two other counts of third-degree rape, four counts of unlawful sexual contact, and three counts of providing alcohol to minors.

The young boy (a classmate of one of Shattuck’s children at the McDonogh School in Owing Mills, Maryland) told police that last September Shattuck began an inappropriate relationship with him near Baltimore. He alleged the relationship culminated in sexual activity at a vacation rental home in Bethany Beach over the Labour Day weekend.

The indictment against Shattuck alleged she provided alcohol to three boys under the legal drinking age on August 30 and 31 last year and that she had sexual contact with one of the boys on August 31.

Shattuck apologised to the teen, who was not in court, on Friday, and to his parents.

“I take full responsibility for what I did. I never, ever, ever intended, obviously, to hurt anybody. I will spend the rest of my life making this right.”

Shattuck’s lawyer told the court how his client had been publicly humiliated by the press coverage. He stressed that Shattuck was a “… caring, empathetic, good and decent person.”

Prosecutor John Donahue, however, disagreed, “This was not a momentary lapse in judgement. She (Shattuck) groomed him, seduced him, supplied him with alcohol, (and) then took advantage of him, all for her own gratification.”